Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Just pickin cotton here boss-cotton field in North Carolina
View from the hotel at Ocracoke Island NC
Group having a beverage after a long day
Crossing bay heading to Ocracoke Island
Bikes stores on ferry awaiting next ride
Waiting for ferry to Ocracoke Island
Two fellow travelers Mike (13) and Charlie
Day 14
Weather-Clear, cool
wind-west 10-15 m
Today we encountered the effects of hurricane Irene. Our route was originally to take us out cape Hatteras, then ferry to the island of Ocracoke. The island of Ocracoke is located just east of the cape separating the Plimlico Sound from the ATLANTIC (shoutout to Karen) ocean. Because the bridge was not open, we had to take an alternate route. We turned west and took the inward land route. Then it got interesting. We had to bike 80 miles before noon because the ferry to Ocracoke Island left at 12:30 and 4:00. All the bikers had to make the 80 miles before noon. That meant some had to "SAG" while others attempted to ride the entire way. Most of the terrain consisted of a long river of what looked like swamp water on both sides of the road. And, did I mention the MOSQUITO'S? There were so many and they were so big I think they needed permission from a control tower to land. One does not stop long to do their "business". I have never seen so many of them and our biking clothes provided little protection. It did motivate us to keep moving. I did make time to take a picture of a cotton field and, of course, picked a small piece as a souvenir. Most of the ride was against the wind but that did not present many problems. The good news is that everyone made the ferry station before noon. Anyone who did not make the noon time would have to await the next ferry. It would not leave until 4:30 and that would not have gotten us to the destination before 7:00. All's well that ends well. Upon arriving at Swan Quarter (aren't these names precious) we boarded the ferry for a two and a a half journey across the bay. Unfortunately, upon arrival we discovered that many of the eating establishments on the island closed when Irene arrived and will not reopen until next season which begins in the spring. Therefore, we have to scramble to find eateries that will provide nourishment. Having said that, Ocracoke Island is a great place to spend a rest day. Tomorrow we rest and recover and then finish the week with back to back 100 mile rides. Touring the entire island and perhaps traveling to Hatteras by ferry are agenda items. More on the rest day tomorrow.

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